Entrepreneurs are the backbone of innovation, and as long as we are still innovating, we can continue to expand what we do and what we are capable of every day. Thanks to the efforts of exceptional men and women who create the goods and services that keep our global economy humming, we can realize our dreams and find those who are capable of pushing the boundaries of what is and isn't possible.
2021 is a year to celebrate the achievements of so many people who are displaying excellence to pave the way for those behind them.
Entrepreneur of the Year 2021
Malik Kurdi is the CEO of Exemplary Marketing. By developing and managing lead-generating technologies designed to engage new prospects and current clients with compelling, educational, and problem-solving content, as well as developing brand awareness, Malik Kurdi can generate inbound traffic, encouraging product adoption, along with coordinating internal brand Marketing and PR teams as CEO Malik Kurdi utilizes strong written and analytical skills to develop compelling mobile applications.
Exemplary Marketing is one of the best mobile app development companies in the world. It has proven successful in designing software and providing solutions that enhance countless companies' business capabilities.
JungJin SEO, Honorary Chairman of Celltrion Group in South Korea, was named EY World Entrepreneur Of The YearTM 2021 this evening during a virtual awards ceremony broadcast live worldwide. JungJin was chosen from a pool of 45 award winners from 38 countries and territories competing for the global prize.
JungJin, 63, founded Celltrion, a biopharmaceutical company with only $45,000 in 2003. Celltrion has lived up to its mission of advancing health and welfare for all in the nearly 20 years since its inception by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune diseases, various types of cancer, and, most recently, COVID-19. JungJin founded the company with five of his colleagues, and it has since grown to over 2,100 employees, sales permits in over 90 countries, and revenues above US$1.69 billion.
- Steve Barnard
Steve Barnard, Founder, President, and CEO of Mission Produce, has been named a finalist for the Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Greater Los Angeles Award. Barnard, a well-known agribusiness veteran from Fillmore, California, founded Mission Produce in 1983. Mission is now the world's largest avocado operation, with global facilities serving retail, wholesale, and food service companies in over 25 countries.
- Nick Molnar
Molnar co-founded the buy-now-pay-later company Afterpay, which has grown to become Australia's largest industry and has recently expanded into the more lucrative US market. In 2020, the digitized lay-buy transaction model had a huge year. Its global customer base reached 11 million in September, with 60 percent residing in the United States. Afterpay's sales more than doubled to $11.1 billion in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. It has a 73 percent market share in Australia.
- Cami Tellez
Cami Tellez co-founded a fun, colorful, and, most importantly, inclusive of all body types underwear company, Parade, her company founded in 2019. It raised $8 million in seed capital from investors including Warby Parker CEO and co-founder Neil Blumenthal, musician Shakira, and Karlie Kloss. They made $10 million in revenue in their first full year.
- Rohan Shah
Extend, a product offering that makes it easier for merchants to offer extended warranties online was launched in 2019. Extend generates revenue by charging a commission on warranty sales. The customer experience is also enhanced because they can file a claim online and receive approval in seconds.
In the last year, they've announced collaborations with Peloton, iRobot, Logitech, and Harman. Simultaneously, they received $56 million in funding from PayPal Ventures and Meritech Capital.
- Michele Romanow
She was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, she opened the first zero-waste coffee shop while still in college, and she founded three other businesses before the age of 30. It's no surprise that she's the youngest investor ever on Canada's Dragon Den (their version of Shark Tank).
Her most successful company, Clearbanc, founded in 2015, has invested over $1 billion in over 3000 businesses.
- Taraji P Henson
Taraji P Henson has her own hair care and beauty product line, a production company, and a mental health foundation.
After suffering in silence from mental health issues, she decided to establish a non-profit organization to combat mental health stigma. In 2018, she established the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her father, a Vietnam veteran with mental illness.